Photography Tutorials and Articles

Using Lightroom Metadata

Search and Filter Using Lightroom Metadata

Lightroom is a powerhouse for editing and photo management. You have heard a lot about Lightroom editing power, but did you know that Lightroom has one of the best search and filter engines? In this article, I am going to look into the Lightroom Metadata tab.

Lightroom Library Module provides many filtering tools, as you can see in this photo:

Lightroom Metadata Tab

Lightroom Training program
Lightroom is the most powerful photo editing and management software.

Let’s focus on the Lightroom Metadata tab in this article.

What information does Lightroom Metadata have?

First thing first, digital cameras store tons of data while capturing photos. The camera creates a sidecar file for each photo. It is called EXIF File. Therefore, Lightroom Metadata uses this information to organize the images. However, the camera-generated Exif file data varies in different cameras. In other words, each camera makes specific data. For instance, if your camera can record the GPS information (such as smartphones), then the EXIF file will have the location data. Here is a list of information that Lightroom Metadata can store. Click on the image to see the full list.

Lightroom Metadata List

Lightroom Metadata
List of information that Lightroom stores

Where to find Lightroom Metadata 

You can locate the Metadata in the Lightroom Library module under the Library Filter tab. There are three categories in this tab, Text, Attribute, and Metadata. In this article, I will cover the metadata.

Lightroom Library Filter Tab

Lightroom metadata
Lightroom Filter Manu

When to use Lightroom Metadata 

Firstly, it is straightforward to find photos in Collections or folders. Even if you have tagged your photos by Keywords, it is just as easy as it can get searching for particular images. However, if you want to search for photos that you used a specific camera or lens, then the Metadata in the filter that you need to use.

I always search for particular types of photos for my photography classes or articles. For instance, when I need photos from a specific shutter speed or aperture value, the collections or keywords cannot help me. Therefore, I refer to Lightroom Metadata to find the pictures I need.

How to use Lightroom Metadata

In the Lightroom Library module, click on the Metadata tab, and it opens up into four columns. By default, these tabs are DATE, CAMERA, LENS, and LABEL.

Lightroom Metadata Columns

Lightroom Metadata
The default columns of Metadata tab

Thereby, you can change each category to match your needs. After clicking on the tab, a dropdown menu opens up then select the type.

Lightroom Metadata Columns

Lightroom metadata
You can pick up the category that matches your search.

Here are the categories that I use the most. However, you can select or add more if you wish.

Lightroom Metadata custom Columns

Lightroom Metadata
Custom Metadata columns

In this example, I was searching for a photo that was taken by a Canon 5D Mk IV and a 150-600mm lens. It was next to impossible to find this photo among over 30k pictures. Certainly, Lightroom is a hero and found the image for me in no time!

Lightroom Metadata Search result

Lightroom Metadata find the photos using Exif files
Lightroom Metadata find the photos using Exif files

Do you want to learn more?

In conclusion, Lightroom is a powerhouse for photographers. Join us for our Lightroom training program on May 16th. It is a three-session workshop that covers everything from start to finish in Lightroom.

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